Why I love Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is synonymous with sport. All eyes are on the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City) for the 2016 Olympic Games and the world will indeed marvel at the feats of speed, strength and skill exhibited by elite athletes, and by the resplendence of Rio de Janeiro itself. As a competitive athlete, I can’t imagine a place more galvanizing than Rio, a destination that conjures the fortitude and serenity required for optimal performance; countless hours of preparation lead up to that make-or-break moment where roaring cheers fall silent and you leave everything on the floor, field, court, track or platform. In Rio, a confluence of cinematic landscapes, energizing sunshine and captivating culture sets the perfect stage for the thrilling events, inspiring not only spectators, but the contenders from around the world who trained tirelessly to get to the Games. However, fitness in this city isn’t reserved for the pros. It’s an inherent part of the carioca (resident of Rio) lifestyle and no matter the sport – whether you’re a local or a visitor, a participant or an onlooker – your favorite event awaits in paradise. Read More

Medal-worthy experiences in Rio de Janeiro

Great stays close to the action

We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

Rio de Janeiro features

Guides by Lonely Planet helps travellers get to the heart of Rio with offline maps, essential information and must-see sights curated by on-the-ground experts. Explore our new phrases section, and sound like a local!

Gear up for Rio

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Prize-winning adventures in Rio de Janeiro and beyond

$1569 Small group tours

Northern Brazil Express

This quick nine-day tour of northern Brazil hits loads of highlights north of Rio. Samba dance and sip caipirinhas beside the turquoise waters of the Atlantic coast, discover the gorgeous old buildings of Salvador, Bahia, and find out once and for all why Rio's so famous for its nightlife. The tour maximizes time by including two short flights to skip long, overnight bus rides. Hop on board and see Brazil north of Rio.

$1889 Small group tours

Brazil Journey

From the sizzling heat of its nightlife to the cooling shade of its jungles, Brazil's cultural and natural treasures are just waiting to be discovered over these nine unforgettable days. Wander the colonial streets of UNESCO World Heritage site Paraty, stand in awe of incredible Iguassu Falls, and discover for yourself the famously beautiful beach in Rio. Make the most out of your time in Brazil with this unique itinerary.

$3799 Small group tours

Andes, Iguassu & Beyond

This tour is designed for anyone looking for the most incredible natural and cultural highlights of southern South America. Spend 18 days exploring the cultures of Chile and Argentina with the Andes as your perfectly picturesque backdrop. Get active in the adventure-sport-lover's paradise of Pucon, Chile and then stand in the mist of majestic Iguassu Falls, before moving on to find out once and for all why Rio de Janeiro is the cultural icon it's become. Enjoy free time to explore this amazing city. Don't leave any adventure-stone unturned; do it all.

$1150 Small group tours

4-Day Tour: Carnival 2017 in Rio de Janeiro

Nothing else in the world compares to Carnival in Brazil... see for yourself! Join this 4-day tour and experience the great Rio de Janeiro Carnival!

$1299 Small group tours

5-Day Tour: Carnival 2017 in Rio de Janeiro

Nothing else in the world compares to Carnival in Brazil... see for yourself! Join us in this 5-day tour and experience the great Rio de Janeiro Carnival.

$1499 Small group tours

6-Day Tour: Carnival 2017 in Rio de Janeiro

Nothing else in the world compares to Carnival in Brazil... see for yourself! Join us in this 6-day tour and experience the great Rio de Janeiro Carnival.